Acute Asthma Management Advice and Tips

Acute Asthma Management Advice and Tips

The below content is derived from research done using sources available on the internet. Safey Medical Devices Inc and its subsidiaries do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the content. No medical decision should be taken on the basis of below content without consulting with your Medical Practitioner.

 Is your asthma considered acute? If you struggle to control your asthma symptoms with most treatments, read on to discover our acute asthma management tips.

According to Asthma UK, one-in-20 people across the British Isles suffer from acute asthma symptoms. There is no doubt that severe asthma symptoms are harder to manage, and they have the potential to affect your everyday life.

However, there are still plenty of options for acute asthma sufferers to get a better handle on their symptoms and look forward to the future with more optimism and confidence.

What is acute asthma?

There are four different stages of acute asthma. The nature of treatment required for each stage differs:

  • Moderate acute asthma

Increased asthma symptoms, with a peak flow rate of between 50-75%.

  • Severe acute asthma

Severe asthma symptoms, with a peak flow rate of between 33-50%. Respiratory rates a greater than 25/min and heart rate is greater than 110 beats per minute. Individuals struggle to complete a sentence in the same breath.

  • Life-threatening acute asthma

Life-threatening asthma symptoms, with peak flow rates of less than 33%, arterial oxygen saturation of less than 92%, partial arterial pressure of oxygen of less than 8 kPa and normal partial arterial pressure of carbon dioxide between 4.6-6.0 kPa.

  • Near-fatal acute asthma

Near-fatal asthma symptoms relate to raised PaCO2, requiring mechanical ventilation with raised inflation pressure, or both.

Simple steps that you can take to minimise your asthma symptoms

It’s very important for acute asthma sufferers to be made aware that the decline in their condition can be managed simply by taking basic steps themselves:

  • Discuss with your GP or asthma nurse about the possibility of a written asthma action plan. This will tell you the medicines you must take each day, how to sport if your asthma symptoms are worsening and what to do if you experience an asthma attack.
  • Book periodic asthma reviews with your GP or nurse to ensure your diary is relevant and your medication is doing the job.
  • Take some time to understand the most common triggers of your asthma symptoms to try and minimize your interaction with these environments and allergens.
  • Ensure your asthma inhaler technique is monitored regularly. Asthma sufferers that use Safey’s smart Bluetooth-enabled inhalers can ensure their medication adherence is as effective as possible. Apparently, 45% of severe asthma sufferers don’t take their asthma steroid medication properly. Our inhalers have remote monitoring so that clinicians and asthma nurses can keep a close eye on their patients’ inhaler use.

Maintain an open line of communication with your GP or asthma nurse

If you want to make sure that you are on the right track with your acute asthma management, we thoroughly recommend that you talk regularly with your healthcare professionals. Your GP and asthma nurse will be able to help you overcome any hurdle big or small that you encounter.

If you find it difficult to describe your asthma symptoms to your GP or asthma nurse, it’s a good idea to video your symptoms. Of course, your GP or asthma nurse may never witness your acute symptoms, so a video of the symptoms you exhibit can help them to diagnose the correct medication.

Don’t worry if you can’t video your acute asthma symptoms, but by keeping a physical diary of your symptoms and feelings day-to-day, this can also give your healthcare professional a better idea of whether your existing medication is working or not.

An open and honest relationship with your GP or asthma nurse is the best way to minimising your asthma symptoms. Don’t be afraid or feel like a failure admitting to your GP that you are struggling to administer your medication. You won’t be the first to find it difficult and you certainly won’t be the last. 

By discussing your concerns with your GP or asthma nurse, they can help you to get the most out of your medication without having to increase your dosage or switch to stronger medication.

The importance of a healthy lifestyle

If you are serious about keeping a lid on your acute asthma symptoms, it’s vital that you take good care of your body. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important as an asthma sufferer, as the condition can make your body more susceptible to other conditions.

Try to avoid gaining weight unnecessarily. It’s hard when you are taking steroids in tablet form as this can lead to a heightened appetite. Nevertheless, weight gain can put extra strain on your heart, given that asthma sufferers are already at greater risk of developing heart disease in the future. Overweight individuals are also at risk of developing gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) which can flare up your airways and trigger your acute asthma symptoms.

If you are a regular or social smoker, cutting out the cigarettes can have a profoundly positive impact on controlling your asthma. It can also reduce your risk of developing COPD, which causes your airways to become even more inflamed and damages your lungs’ air sacs.

Acute asthma sufferers sometimes struggle with periods of anxiety and depression. Your condition may restrict you from doing the things you love most, which can have a long-term effect on your mood. Don’t be afraid to voice your feelings with your GP or asthma nurse, who can help you find a way to handle your emotions better.

How to deal with bad days

Again, if you struggle to voice your emotions on a down day, document it in a physical diary. You can show this to your doctor, who will be able to gauge whether your feelings are a normal byproduct of acute asthma.

We also recommend placing notes of positivity around your home that can give you a much-needed pick-me-up. Place notes on your fridge, on your bedroom walls and anywhere else you regularly frequent at home to give you the confidence and belief that these bad days are only short-term and that brighter days are just around the corner.